There's a report on the Manhattan board about last night's gathering of Chowhounds at Grand Sichuan Int'l. (I've linked below to the first message in the thread.) A couple of posters mentioned a fish dish that tasted like dirt.
This has happened to me a couple of times in the past few years, and I wonder if anyone can explain the phenomenon. In every instance I've experienced, it was an order of steamed fish.
The first time it was tilapia - not having had much tilapia in my day, I chalked it up to the fish coming from a stinky fish farm with dirty water. And didn't order tilapia again for a very long time. (A recent encounter with a pan-fried tilapia at Grand Sichuan has softened my prejudice.)
But anyway, a couple of months ago I had a dirty-tasting order of striped bass - I believe it was at Chao Zhou in Flushing. We tasted it, it tasted dirty, we started deboning it and noticed it wasn't cooked through. We sent it back for more steaming, and when it came back the dirty smell was gone. So now I have a new theory.
Anybody have any ideas on this?